For many years, Germany has been confronted with the need for political, economic and societal change. In recent federal and state election, the two major political parties have seen an erosion of their electoral acceptance, while newcomers like "Die Linke" (the leftist) party, with strong roots in East Germany, are gaining strength. Problems created by the worldwide financial crisis are exacerbated in Germany by high welfare costs, above average benefits and abundant vacation time, as well as a general entitlement mentality, resisting badly needed change. Help comes from an unexpected quarter: East Germany. In fact, the East German people had to learn tough lessons, living through the experience of two political systems and having to deal with much adversity in the process. Recently, however, a healthy self-confidence and defiant resourcefulness has reappeared after a long period of frustration, hopelessness, and resignation. New developments in the political, economic, and socio-cultural area seem to be harbingers of welcome transformation, which may give the East German people the opportunity to become agents of change toward a new Germany.
About Adolf Haasen
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Published July 1, 2009